The Watkins Visiting Artists Series (VAS) is an annual yearlong program that welcomes nationally and internationally recognized fine artists, designers, filmmakers, educators and critics to the campus and the community. The guest artists, whose work crosses many disciplinary boundaries, give public presentations, sharing their expertise and perspectives on their careers and providing insight into issues facing contemporary artists and designers.
Award-winning documentary photographer Carolyn Drake (Taylor-Lange Documentary Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, World Press Photo, POYi), works globally on personal projects and assigned commissions that explore the effects of modernity on individual and cultural freedoms. Her photographs demonstrate the power of art in documenting the lives of people living under conditions of precariousness and political repression, and through this work, she allows them to speak with their own voices. Read more.
All of the individuals in the 2015 Visiting Artists Series at Watkins explore the role of the artist as a critical intellectual. Not only have these artists shifted the perimeters of their fields by exploring new media and new forms, but they have also contributed to some of the most important debates of the contemporary era, including addressing the rights and responsibilities of artists in an era where creative people are becoming instruments of branding and gentrification.
The 2015 Watkins Visiting Artists Series is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Letterer, illustrator and type designer Jessica Hische–at the age of 31, one of the most influential graphic designers in the world–launches the 2015 Watkins Visiting Artists Series. For more information, read the news story.
Ashley Hunt is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist best known for his activist projects in video, photography and graphic design which engage the ideas of social movements, modes of learning and public speech. His work is often concerned with questions of power and the ways that some people have more, others have less, and what can be done about that. Among his most celebrated works are his ongoing video series on the prison system, entitled The Corrections Documentary Project, and his Prison Maps. His work has been screened and exhibited at the P.S.1/MOMA, the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta. He is Co-Director of the Program in Photography and Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Read the news story.
Martha Rosler is a Brooklyn-based artist and writer. Her work includes video, installation and performance. She is best known for a series of photomontages entitled House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home (1967-1972) and for her early explorations of video as a medium, especially her famous Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975). Her photo-conceptualist project The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1975-1976) offered an important critical perspective on documentary photography in light of conceptual art. She is also a celebrated writer and critical voice, and has published over 15 books of her writings and art. Her collected essays, Decoys and Disruptions, was published by MIT Press in 2004. She has taught at Rutgers University and at Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany.
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Renowned for his writings on postwar American art and queer art history, Katz curated the much-discussed 2010-11 exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is also a co-founder of Queer Nation in San Francisco, founder of the Harvey Milk Institute, and former director of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Gay and Lesbian Studies at Yale University. His writings have appeared in Art in America, Art & Text, Art History, Art Journal, and numerous other publications. He is co-author with Moira Roth of Difference/Indifference: Musings on Duchamp and Cage.
Katz is currently an associate professor and director of the Ph.D. program in Visual Studies at University of Buffalo. He has previously taught at Smith College, Stony Brook University, University of Amsterdam, and Yale University. At the City College of San Francisco, during the 1990s, he was the first full-time, tenured faculty member in gay and lesbian studies in the United States.
Katz’s scholarly work addresses why the American avant-garde in the Cold War era came to be dominated and defined by queer artists who remained silent about their sexuality in what was perhaps the single most homophobic decade in this nation’s history. His research and writing has focused on composer John Cage and painters Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, although he also has written about poet Frank O’Hara, French theorist and radical feminist Monique Wittig, artists Agnes Martin, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and others. Currently, he is co-curating “AIDS/Art/America,” a major 2014 international touring exhibition offering the first examination of the ways AIDS shifted post-modernist premises in the art world.
Painter R. H. Quaytman, whose work addresses the critical and institutional contexts of painting, will speak at Watkins on her first visit to Nashville. The lecture, second in the 2013-14 Visiting Artists Series, is free and open to the public.
In her recent work, the New York-based Quaytman has placed the language of painting into dialogue with the real world contexts of the museums or galleries where it appears. Her work aligns the aesthetics of painting with more austere and intellectual traditions of conceptual art and institutional critique.
About the artist
R. H. Quaytman was born in 1961 in Boston, and lives and works in New York. She received her B.A. in painting from Bard College (1983), and attended the post-graduate program in painting at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin (1984) and the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris (1989). She was subsequently awarded a 2001 Rome Prize Fellowship. Quaytman was director of Orchard, a cooperative gallery in New York, open from 2005 to 2008, and is currently faculty of Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College.
Quaytman incorporates optical abstractions, silkscreened photographs, diamond dust layers, and hand-painted trompe l’oeil elements into her works. Using these diverse techniques, she weaves personal, art historical, and formal narratives to explore the many contexts in which painting can be seen and understood. Presented in groups she considers “chapters,” Quaytman’s works invite the viewer to look from one painting to another, considering individual works within the context of the group.
Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted by Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Freidrich Pretzel Gallery and Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Vilma Gold Gallery, London; Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York; and Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, among others.
In the past decade she has participated in more than 60 group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the world, including London, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, Rome, Berlin, Venice, Brussels, Antwerp, Stockholm, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis and Ft. Worth. She was also included in the 2011 Venice Biennale and the 2010 Whitney Biennial.
Quaytman is the author of Allegorical Decoys (MER Press, 2008), inspired by her time as director of the Manhattan cooperative gallery Orchard, and Spine (Sternberg Press, 2011), which brings together all her paintings produced since 2001, the year she began conceiving and organizing her output in chapters (includes 20 chapters total). She is also a contributor to Corrected Slogans: Reading and Writing Conceptualism (Triple Canopy, 2013), a collection of conversations with innovative artists and poets addressing conceptual practices in contemporary art and poetry.
Free parking in campus lot
Chicago-based new media artists Nick Briz and Jon Satrom will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Monday, March 3, in the final installment of the Watkins Visiting Artists Series. Their remarks about the ethics of saving/sharing, experimentation, conscious copying, hacking and collaboration will begin at 6 p.m. in the Watkins Theater, followed immediately by a reception to celebrate the gallery show RipZipRARLANd, an exhibition of ripped work from artists working in a variety of genres including net.art, glitch art, video, and dirty new media.
The theme of the exhibition is based on the infinitely copyable nature of new media, lossy and corrupt works, and the intentions involved in their preservation and distribution. The show will be on display in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus through March 20.
RipZipRARLANd (which takes its combination name from several new media terms) is a utopist local area network inspired by experimental new media art, and guests are invited to bring their digital files to copy to the RipZipRARLANd Local Area Network Archive installed at Watkins for the run of the show.
Recognized internationally as leaders in the counter new media art movement known as glitch, Briz and Satrom undermine interfaces, bend data and provoke glitches in the arena of digital media. Their practices have grown out of the infinite copy-ability of data and inevitable decay of digital media. They hack, reclaim, remix and share in an effort to promote and preserve a genre/medium/culture.
As [users/artists] we consider ourselves [creators/producers], however, in the eyes of contemporary (networked) corporations, we are the product being sold for billions of dollars. These wide-spread software-as-service models don’t trade in their technology as much as they trade in humans. SoftwARE iz Humans.
Nick Briz is a new media artist, educator and organizer based in Chicago. He is an active participant in digital culture and experimental new media, specifically through his work/research/writing on glitch art, remix-culture and digital literacy, and he regularly organizes events related to these theories/practices as well as teaching at the Marwen Foundation and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is Instructor in Contemporary Practices. His work has been shown internationally at festivals and institutions such as the FILE Media Arts Festival (Rio de Janeiro), the Images Festival (Toronto), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Moving Image (NYC), Furtherfield Gallery (London); Museo De Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, and LEAP Berlin. Briz has been featured in on/off-line publications including Rhizome.org, Furtherfield.org, the Creators Project, Creativity Online, PSFK, and Neural Magazine. He works collaboratively/commercially as Branger_Briz, a digital interactive agency, and is co-founder/co-organizer of the GLI.TC/H international conference/festival/ gathering. His work is distributed through Video Out Distribution (Vancouver) as well as openly and freely on the web. Briz holds a BFA from the University of Central Florida and an MFA from SAIC. See more at nickbriz.com
Jon Satrom is a Chicago-based artist, educator and designer who performs realtime audio/video, makes kludgey work-flows, creates colorful glitch-ware, and enjoys working within collaborative projects and open systems. He spends his days fixing things and making things work, and spends his evenings breaking things and searching for the unique blips inherent to the systems he explores and exploits. By over-clocking everyday digital tools, Satrom kludges abandonware, funware, necroware, and artware into extended-dirty-glitchy-systems for performance, execution, and collaboration. His time-based works have been enjoyed on screens of all sizes; his Prepared Desktop has been performed in many localizations. Satrom organizes, develops, and performs with I ♥ PRESETS, poxparty, and GLI.TC/H, in addition to other initiatives with talented dirty new-media comrades. Currently Instructor in New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Satrom holds a BFA in Video/Sound/Art and Technology from SAIC. See more at jonsatrom.com and watch his TedxDePaulU talk, “Creative Problem Creating” • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFwNtXpuMq4
Watkins hosts many artists, designers, and filmmakers to come and speak directly to the students and also to the public at large. Below is a list of just some of these talented people who, in recent years, have shared their time, their stories, and their advice.
Natalia Almada – Filmmaker
Gail Anderson – Creative Director of Design at SpotCo. NYC
Joel Anderson – Anderson Design Group
Ann Beatts – Screenwriter
David Bennett – CMT Lead Animator
Gina Binkley – Alter Ego Design, Illustration and Photography
John Henry Blatter – Media and Sound Artist
Wayne Brezinka – Design and Illustration
Shawn Brown – Photographer
David Carson – Author, Typographer, Designer
Keith Carter – Photographer
Barry Cook – Disney Animator
Aisha Cousins – Visual Artist
Jessica Davis – Interior Designer
Bob Delevante – Designer and Photographer
Mike Delevante – Owner, Delevante Creative
Dean Dixon – Photographer
Susan Eaddy –Children’s Author and Illustrator
Vern Evans – Photographer
Harrell Fletcher – Social Practice Artist
Phil Foster – Illustrator
Travis Foster – Illustrator
Marcelle Guilbeau – Interior Designer
Beth Haley – Interior Designer
Helen Hannah – Interior Designer
David Hilliard – Photographer
Rocky Horton – Visual Artist
Nancy Inman – Designer
Terri Jones – Visual Artist
Rainey Kirk – Illustrator
Miwon Kwon – Art Historian & Critic
Liz Magic Laser – Video and Performance Artist
Deborah Luster – Photographer
David Macauley – Author, Illustrator
Laray Mayfield – Film Casting Director
David McClister – Photographer/Director
Bryce McCloud – Illustrator and Designer
Kim Michaud – Interior Designer
Greg Miller – Photographer
Zach Provonchee – Architect
R. H. Quaytman – Painter
Dan Read – Hollywood Makeup Artist
Lucie Rice – Illustrator
Artemio Rodriguez – Printmaker & Illustrator
Bethany Rooney – Television Director
Bill Ross – Children’s Author and Illustrator
Rebecca Ruegger – Painter and Illustrator
Michael Rutherford – Photographer
Chris Sickels – Animator and Children’s Book Illustrator
Jeff Silva – Visual Artist
Julie Sola – Printmaker and Designer
T. L. Solein – Painter
Alec Soth – Photographer
Robert Stone – Film Producer
Jock Sturges – Photographer
Sheila Turner – Photographer
Wayne White – Painter and Sculpture
Elizabeth Williams – Art Director